HBO’s The Sympathizer has Robert Downey Jr., Hoa Xuande, Park Chan-wook, Don McKellar, Fernando Meirelles, and Marc Munden, all working on the same project. The black comedy-drama, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen, follows the Captain of a North Vietnam plant in the South Vietnam army. As he is forced to live among South Vietnamese refugees, he keeps spying on them and struggles to balance between his new life and his old loyalties. Apart from all the talented people associated with the project, The Sympathizer is also making news for its filming locations as it features stunning visuals that transport the audience to 1970s Vietnam. So where did the shoot of the series take place? Read on to find out.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Since the premise of the series is set in Vietnam, the production team of The Sympathizer made Ho Chi Minh City in the country their base location. Several sequences of the show were filmed across various spots of the city. Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is Vietnam’s largest city with a population of 9.3 million. Situated along rivers and canals, it comprises 16 urban districts, five rural districts, and a municipal city. 

The Sympathizer Filming Locations

Being Vietnam’s financial hub, Ho Chi Minh City contributes significantly to the country’s GDP. Historically, it was occupied by Champa and later became the capital of French Indochina. Following the partition of the country, it served as South Vietnam’s capital until captured North Vietnam. Since the 1990s, it has undergone rapid modernization, aiding Vietnam’s economic recovery. The city is a major trading and manufacturing center, boasting busy international transport hubs and tourist attractions like the Independence Palace and Bến Thành Market.

Los Angeles, California, USA

The Sympathizer Filming Locations

A number of scenes of The Sympathizer were filmed in Los Angeles, the hub of Hollywood productions, in California, USA. The cast and crew were spotted filming some key scenes on location in the city. Los Angeles is an ideal filming location due to its diverse geography offers a range of settings, from beaches to mountains, deserts to urban landscapes, accommodating various film genres. The city houses top-notch film studios, skilled professionals, and a supportive infrastructure, which aids in film and TV production.

Santa Clarita, California, USA

The filming of the HBO series also took place in Santa Clarita, California. The city is known for its rolling hills and canyons, which serve as a beautiful backdrop for filming. The city has a Mediterranean climate with abundant sunshine year-round. Its proximity to Los Angeles and established film infrastructure provides access to production studios, equipment, and skilled crew.


Apart from the above places, The Sympathizer was also filmed in Thailand. The country offers diverse landscapes, from tropical beaches and lush jungles to ancient temples and bustling cities. It also provides competitive production costs, including affordable labor and resources, making it attractive to filmmakers. Thailand’s rich culture, vibrant traditions, and warm hospitality are some other factors that make it the preferred choice of filmmakers to shoot their projects.

Also Read: Is The Sympathizer Based on a True Story?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *